ISLAMABAD: Planning, Development and Reform Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar on Monday underlined the need to establish transport and energy corridors, as they would not only enhance regional connectivity but would also boost trade and investment among neighbouring countries.
In a meeting with the Uzbek business delegation, led by Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Elyor Majidovich Ganiyev, the minister stated that the Uzbek companies could develop production lines in special economic zones under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework, as it would be beneficial for both countries.
Uzbekistan Ambassador Furqat Sidikov, Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan, Planning Commission members and senior ministry officials were also present on the occasion.
The minister highlighted that by 2050, electricity demand in Pakistan would reach 50,000MW, adding that Pakistan was committed to CASA-1000 energy project being financed by World Bank.
Bakhtiar apprised that Pakistan was planning to upgrade its railway system from Peshawar to Karachi to further boost economic activities in the country.
The visiting dignitary informed that Uzbekistan has constructed a railway line from Tashkent to Mazar-e-Sharif which could be extended to Peshawar, thereby enhancing regional connectivity and trade.
The minister stressed the need to strengthen regional connectivity through various road and railway infrastructure projects, much to the benefit of all member countries. He noted that bilateral trade between the two countries has increased significantly in the last two years which could further be enhanced to $1 billion by exploiting the existing potential in various areas.
Bakhtiar appreciated that the visiting business delegation would have an opportunity to meet the Pakistani business community, saying that both sides could explore more possibilities for future cooperation that would set in motion the launching of joint ventures in different fields.
The minister called for regular exchange of business delegations between the two countries to further cement bilateral economic partnership.